an Afghan man next to a killed relative / the daily telegraph

The US army has count an Afghan unborn child as a victim of the massacre committed by Staff Sergeant Robert Bales in rural Southern Afghanistan last March 11th. The death of this unborn child in the womb of his mother caused  the discrepancy  between the US army, who said there where 17 dead, and the Afghan authorities, who insisted in 16. Finally, the Afghans said they where not counting an unborn child dead in the rampage when Bales, 38 went  house by house killing men women and children without any apparently reason but a post traumatic mental disease, and then went back to his base to turn himself in.

According to a report of the New York Times, the Uniform Code of Military Justice says that the death of an unborn baby could be considered a murder whether or not the killer was aware that his mother was pregnant.

The report specifies a section 919a of the Code witch and a Federal Law that says that when someone attacks a woman and “causes the death of, or bodily injury to a child who is in utero at the time of the conduct takes place, is guilty of a separate offense”. In this cases, the death penalty cannot be imposed for the death of the unborn baby. The section exempts medical abortions from any penalty. The Code recognizes that when a pregnant woman is injured or killed and as a result the baby is injured or killed there are two victims, two human beings affected by the attack, the mother and the child in “the child who is in utero”.

This statement contradicts all the laws that consider abortion a right or a choose when there is not real medical problems, because don’t take notice of the right of the child to live as a human being who if is injured by any other person who is not an abortion doctor in an abortion clinic would be considered a victim of a crime. And in that clinics are considered a simply left over of a routine procedure after no so much considerate even when there is no crime involved, only convenience or interests. If a pregnant woman is killed or injured and the child dies, I agree, there are two victims, and the perpetrator has to respond for that.

I don’t understand why at the eyes of many in our society this doesn’t work for the child always. Why depends of the social pressure, or lack of love or plain fear, or bad advice, or lack of proper aid to the young mothers, or who know what more situations that can have prevention or solutions most of the times. I’m not saying this is an easy problem, we all know that. But I think that there is always good to remind that the unborn children are children and are alive, no matter we don’t see their faces, and this is every day more difficult thanks to the advances of the science.

Maybe you will criticize me to talk about the tiniest victim of a line of wars with no end in sight all around the world. Well, I thing nobody has a right to take a live not this one, not all the others, falling violently every day no matter how young or old you are, and all occasions to say it are good.

About Olga Brajnović

Journalist. In my fifties. I've worked for 26 years in a newspaper in Spain. I worked for two years as a stringer and correspondent in the US, and went as a special envoy to other places like the Balkans. Sea lover. Avid reader. Classic Music enthusiast.


Ethics, Justice, Middle East, Our Life, World and Politics


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